4 Ways to Fly Without Fear

Air — By on August 18, 2010 at 8:00 am

Your bags are packed, your plane tickets are booked, your days are loosely planned… you’re completely prepared for your next trip except for one minor detail: actually getting there. No matter how many times you do it, flying is just plain terrifying.

Flying over the Andes - my scariest flight to date.

You’re not alone. In 2007, Dr. Lucas van Gerwen, a Dutch aviation psychologist and professional pilot, told the New York Times that several studies have found up to 40 percent of people to have some degree of anxiety about flying.

However, that’s not to say that you can’t handle it with, dare I say it, flying colors. I checked in with Heather Poole, a blogging flight attendant and soon-to-be published author of her own air travel memoir, to ensure that your fear of flying never again keep you from your globetrotting dreams. Take a deep breath and follow our top four Lost Girls fearless-flying tips below:

Be Ready for the Expected. Heather says that learning to fly may help, but with budgets in mind, perhaps the answer is simply understanding the way airplanes work. The fact that planes will continue to fly even without engine power, for instance, will surely make you feel more secure. Check out this site for more comforting details.

Don’t Leave Time to Rush. Allot yourself more than enough time to get to the airport, check-in and make it through security. Once inside your gate sit down, relax, and have a drink or a snack if appropriate. Airports are notoriously stressful and you don’t need to add an empty stomach or worrying about missing your flight to the mix.

Meet & Mingle with the Crew. With the extra time, ask to meet the pilot or one of the flight attendants. If it’s not possible, simply introduce yourself once you’ve boarded. “If no one knows you’re scared, they’re not going to even think about helping or comforting you,” says Heather. In the past, she’s taken nervous fliers to meet the captain and be reassured of the flight’s safety and crew’s friendliness. Throughout the flight she then checks on them periodically.

Seat at the Wing. If you don’t know already: the seats at the wing experience the least turbulence. But don’t worry if you’re “stuck” elsewhere, Heather assures that flight attendants can often move you to a more comfortable seat. Also take note of your priorities: free space at an aisle seat or open-air views at those by the windows.

The sky is not the limit. Try these tips, grab a good book, and enjoy the ride. Safe travels!

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